May 22, 2010
May 21, 2010
California Governor Arnold Schwartzenegger has apparently let slip ahead of a scheduled 5pm Pacific announcement that Tesla Motors will be teaming up with Toyota to build electric cars.
While some might speculate that the agreement could result in the re-opening of Fremont's idle New United Motor Manufacturing Inc. plant (NUMMI), SFGate says that this is somewhat unlikely. Any production agreement will likely involve the forthcoming Model S sedan, and NUMMI's facilities are significantly larger than what the model will require, as it was originally scaled to accommodate the joint venture between Toyota and General Motors which required much greater capacity. The smart money is on a new factory location, probably in Downey, CA (in Los Angeles County).
It is not yet clear what Toyota will bring to the table or what, if any money or stock is changing hands with this rumored agreement. Also, no word yet on how Mercedes-Benz feels about all this – the German automaker already has a 10 percent stake in the company after opening its coffers to the struggling EV manufacturer back in May of 2009.
Looking at luxury sedans like the S-Class and drop-tops like SLK, it'd be all to easy to forget that Mercedes-Benz has a rich background in off-roaders. But the Three-Pointed Star is also the maker of such rockcrawlers as the legendary Geländewagen and the Unimog. And that's the expertise that Iranian designer Siyamak Rouhi Dehkordi has tapped into with his Hexawheel concept.
Drawing inspiration from the articulated frames of insects, the Hexawheel employs six driven wheels on an articulated chassis with a flexible drivetrain. Measuring nearly 16 feet long with a foot and a half of ground clearance, the go-anywhere Hexawheel is designed to climb over tall vertical surfaces. The Persian mechanical engineer was also responsible for the F1-inspired Ferrari Zobin concept.
[Source: Car Body Design]